Mahmoud Darwish

(13 March 1941 – 9 August 2008 / Palestinian)

No More And No Less - Poem by Mahmoud Darwish

I am a woman. No more and no less
I live my life as it is
thread by thread
and I spin my wool to wear, not
to complete Homer's story, or his sun.
And I see what I see
as it is, in its shape,
though I stare every once
in a while in its shade
to sense the pulse of defeat,
and I write tomorrow
on yesterday's sheets: there's no sound
other than echo.
I love the necessary vagueness in
what a night traveler says to the absence
of birds over the slopes of speech
and above the roofs of villages
I am a woman, no more and no less

The almond blossom sends me flying
in March, from my balcony,
in longing for what the faraway says:
"Touch me and I'll bring my horses to the water springs."
I cry for no clear reason, and I love you
as you are, not as a strut
nor in vain
and from my shoulders a morning rises onto you
and falls into you, when I embrace you, a night.
But I am neither one nor the other
no, I am not a sun or a moon
I am a woman, no more and no less

So be the Qyss of longing,
if you wish. As for me
I like to be loved as I am
not as a color photo
in the paper, or as an idea
composed in a poem amid the stags …
I hear Laila's faraway scream
from the bedroom: Do not leave me
a prisoner of rhyme in the tribal nights
do not leave me to them as news …
I am a woman, no more and no less

I am who I am, as
you are who you are: you live in me
and I live in you, to and for you
I love the necessary clarity of our mutual puzzle
I am yours when I overflow the night
but I am not a land
or a journey
I am a woman, no more and no less

And I tire
from the moon's feminine cycle
and my guitar falls ill
by string
I am a woman,
no more
and no less!

Comments about No More And No Less by Mahmoud Darwish

  • Savita Tyagi (12/4/2016 11:41:00 PM)

    Great poem. I am what I am. No more and no less. (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
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  • (12/4/2016 11:02:00 PM)

    Stare to sense the pulse of defeat..
    Heartiest Congrats on the modern Poem of the Day.
    (Report) Reply

  • Bernard F. Asuncion (12/4/2016 6:56:00 PM)

    This poem reminds me of the song I AM WHAT I AM popularized by GLORIA GAYNOR......... (Report) Reply

  • R Soos (12/4/2016 2:09:00 PM)

    good ending
    my guitar falls ill string by string - I feel for her (Report) Reply

  • Indira Renganathan (12/4/2016 10:43:00 AM)

    A woman's pride to say I am what I am...self acceptance....good to read (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (12/4/2016 1:46:00 AM)

    Tribal nights!
    From the bedroom. Thanks for sharing this poem with us. (Report) Reply

  • Anil Kumar Panda (12/4/2016 1:40:00 AM)

    Beautiful poetry. What ordeals a woman goes through her life has been penned in a very emotional way. Loved it. (Report) Reply

  • (12/4/2016 12:56:00 AM)

    The agony of fairer sex nicely captured in poem form. (Report) Reply

Read all 8 comments »

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Poem Edited: Wednesday, September 4, 2013

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